Leader of the Opposition and Political Leader of the United National Congress, Mrs Kamla Persad- Bissessar, SC, has written to Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, ORTT, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, advising her of the six (6) Opposition Senators to be appointed, in accordance with section 40 (1) (b) of the Constitution which states:
40.- 1. The Senate shall consist of thirty-one members (in this Constitution referred to as “Senators”) who shall be appointed by the President in accordance with this section.
b. six shall be appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition
Today, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar advised the President of the following Senators and issued the following statement:
● Mr Wade Mark
● Ms Jearlean John
● Ms Jayanti Lutchmedial
● Mr Damian Lyder
● Mr Anil Roberts
● Mr David Nakhid
“The Opposition in the Senate will be strong, formidable and most importantly they will hold the Government to account at every juncture.
The Opposition bench in the Senate will continue to defend the Constitution and the rights of all citizens against any attempts to thwart their fundamental freedoms. With the appointment of patriots of such a high caliber to the Opposition Bench, I remain satisfied that the rights of the people will be assiduously defended.
The new six Opposition Senators appointed will continue to reflect the mandate of the UNC, to bring more people to the decision-making table. I am happy to ensure that qualified citizens are given the opportunity to serve the nation by contributing to good law and holding the Executive to account.
The UNC remains committed to providing opportunities for young people to lead, as we prepare them for the future.”
Attached are the biographies of each who are to be appointed as Opposition Senators.
Mr. Wade Mark was elected Speaker of the House of the 10th Republican Parliament on Friday June 18, 2010. As Speaker of the House Mr. Mark served as Joint President of the Trinidad and Tobago Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and also served as Regional Chairman (Caribbean, American and Atlantic Region) of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
Mr. Mark first entered Parliament during the 3rd Republican Parliament as an Opposition Senator in 1990 and has served as a Senator in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 11th Parliaments, making him one of the longest serving Senators in the history of Trinidad and Tobago (1990-2010 and 2015-).
Mr. Mark served as Minister of Public Administration and Information in the 5th Parliament and also served as Vice-President of the Senate in the 6th Republican Parliament. He has chaired several Parliamentary Committees including the Public Accounts Enterprises Committee (PAEC), and the Joint Select Committee appointed to inquire into the operations, administration and management of Ministries, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises. Additionally, he served as a Member of several Parliamentary Committees throughout his Parliamentary tenure. From 2002 to 2010, Mr. Mark also served as Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate.
As the Education and Research Officer for the Bank and General Workers Union from 1983-2000, Mr. Mark was responsible for the design, implementation and facilitation of worker education programmes, and served as editor of the Union’s newsletter, Labour Insight. He was also a trustee of the Trinidad and Tobago Labour Congress, and Assistant Secretary of the National Trade Union Centre.
In 1979 Mr. Mark obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Politics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration (EMBA). He is a member of the Economics Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), and the Global Organization for Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC).
Mr. Mark has published a mimeograph on the History and Development of the Trade Union Movement in Trinidad and Tobago (1838-1985), and has prepared and coordinated a number of working papers on globalization, regional integration and the rights of workers for and on behalf of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Mr. Mark has been a long-standing supporter of the UNC and remains true to the belief that the UNC remains the only capable political organisation to adequately represent the needs of the people.
By returning to the Senate, Mr. Mark will provide a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge to guide the new younger Senators along their journey.
Jearlean John has a track record of entrepreneurial and management excellence for over twenty-five (25) years. She has served as the Managing Director of HDC, Chairman of UDECOTT, CEO of the Pizza Boys Group, Minister of Transport, Tourism and Tobago Affairs, Director of VMSTT (VMCOTT), CEO of PTSC and the Business Development Manager of the UWI St. Augustine along with Board Memberships of T&TEC and YTEPP.
Jearlean is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Professional Accountant, and Certified Management, Accountant. She holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Graduate School of Business and a Chief Executive Training Certificate from the National University of Singapore.
A woman with a lifetime of service to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, Jearlean or JJ as she is fondly called is currently Deputy Political Leader of the UNC.
Born in Tobago, JJ has walked many paths, but all have pointed to one direction- development and service to the people. Throughout her many years, one thing has always remained certain, her respect and belief in the UNC and its capability to transform Trinidad and Tobago into the first world nation we are destined to become.
Ms Lutchmedial, a highly qualified and seasoned Attorney at Law, National Scholarship Winner (2001) and who was admitted to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago in October 2006, has decided to enter the fray of politics to do her part in the development of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Possessing a wide range of experience in civil, commercial, and public law litigation, and anti-money laundering with a focus on combatting the financing of terrorism, Jayanti brings to the Senate bench a wide array of legal skills.
With relevant skills in the legal arena, Ms Lutchmedial served as special Advisor to the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago on compliance with international FATF requirements and country compliance for the Mutual Evaluation process, civil fraud, Money laundering and anti-terrorism.
Jayanti has dedicated her life to the rule of law and the protection of the rights and freedoms we as citizens enjoy. A strong defender of the Constitution as well, Jayanti will be a strong advocate for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr David Martin Nakhid, a name familiar to everyone in Trinidad and Tobago has always been proud of his roots in Trinidad and Tobago. David has been active in International Football from the early 1980’s till the present where he runs the David Nakhid International Academy. He was the first player from Trinidad and Tobago to play in Europe. From 1988 to 1995, David played professionally in Switzerland, Belgium, and Greece. Previously he served as the Chief Scout and Assistant Coach for the Trinidad and Tobago National World Cup Team. He attended the American University where he obtained a BA in International Relations. David is a father of three and has always yearned to contribute in another meaningful way to the development of his homeland. Being blessed with the opportunities that came with being an international footballer he has obtained a vast amount of skills throughout his career from being a FIFA presidential candidate to debating in Europe against the likes of FIFA general secretary Jerome Champagne.
Mr Damien Lyder has had a passion for service to his fellow countrymen and women. A graduate of the University of Ontario with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Commerce, along with a wealth of experience, Damien brings to the fore a new fresh vision.
Mr Lyder is deeply involved in community affairs, he has been involved in politics for quite some time. Damien has always believed the UNC is the best medium to effect these changes and was always an ardent supporter of the party over the years.
A result-driven, self-motivated, and resourceful man with a proven ability to develop and strengthen management teams to maximize company profitability and efficiency. Damien is experienced in leading and growing all sectors of a business to make it a dynamic and progressive organization.
He remains determined to leave a positive impact on all just as he has done with the many private businesses he has been involved with. He hopes to leave a better nation for the children of Trinidad and Tobago and is committed to this goal as he enters this new chapter of Parliamentary politics.
Mr Anil Roberts was first elected to the House of Representatives on Monday May 24, 2010 as the Member for D’Abadie/O’Meara. He was appointed Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs on May 29, 2010 by the Honourable Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar and went on to serve until 2015.
Mr Roberts is well known as the swimming coach of Olympic Bronze Medal winner George Bovell III, and as the host of the nationally popular television sports show, Spalk. He was also the host of one of the most listened-to radio talk shows in Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr Roberts has become a household name in the political arena with a large following, he developed a reputation for himself of being vocal on many national issues and standing up for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
His dedication and commitment to the development of young people is unparalleled as he has always remained grounded with the people. As he returns to the Parliament as a Senator, Mr Roberts will continue the fight he started so many years ago when he first decided to focus on young people through sports.
Anil has always believed that the development of Trinidad and Tobago needed to include the input all, in order to ensure we create a better country for the next generation. It was expected that his views aligned with the UNC as the UNC has always placed special emphasis on the investment and development of young people. He is expected to fill the Senate chambers with his ideas and passion for the upliftment of Trinidad and Tobago.